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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 10 April, 2021

  • 7 Min Read

China – Pakistan relations

China – Pakistan relations

  • In a joint statement, the two countries said they would “firmly safeguard multilateralism and support the central role of the United Nations in international affairs.”
  • China and Pakistan have pledged to back each other’s “core and major interests” in the United Nations after holding bilateral consultations on UN affairs.
  • Both countries, which describe their relationship officially as one of “all-weather partners” and “iron brothers”, have in recent months stepped in to provide crucial support to the other on issues they see as sensitive, with Beijing raising the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council and Islamabad backing China on Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
  • This comes amid heightened Chinese criticism of what it calls United States-led “selective multilateralism”, aimed particularly at the India, U.S., Australia and Japan Quadrilateral framework, as well as the “rules-based order” advocated by the Quad.

  • China and Pakistan also agreed to “strengthen their cooperation on the United Nations and other multilateral platforms and to support each other on each side’s core and major interests, work toward the political and peaceful resolution of regional and international hotspot issues, and jointly safeguard peace and stability of the world, especially in Asia.”
  • The statement said they would “continue to strengthen cooperation on counter-terrorism and peacekeeping in the UN framework, by addressing the issue of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. China has in the past stepped in on many instances to block the listing of Pakistani terrorists at the UNSC sanctions committee..
  • The statement added they both would “consolidate strategic coordination in the field of human rights, jointly opposing double standards and the politicisation of human rights issues, and working for the promotion and protection of all human rights in a cooperative manner.”
  • China in 2019 and 2020 raised the Kashmir issue at the UNSC on at least three occasions, calling for discussions in the wake of India’s dilution of Article 370, the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and revocation of special status.
  • Pakistan, meanwhile, has lobbied for China’s support amid increasing criticism from western countries over Xinjiang. In October, Pakistan also made a joint statement on behalf of 55 countries at the UN “opposing interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong.”

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

  • CPEC connecting China’s Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gwadar port is regarded as the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is aimed at furthering China’s global influence with infrastructure projects funded by Chinese investments all over the world.
  • China has committed to invest over USD 60 billion in Pakistan as part of the CPEC under which it planned to build a number of special economic zones.
  • CPEC's potential impact on Pakistan has been compared to that of the Marshall Plan undertaken by the United States in post-war Europe. Pakistani officials predict that CPEC will result in the creation of upwards of 2.3 million jobs between 2015–2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country's annual economic growth.

India’s objections to CPEC

  • Sovereignty claims: India objects to the CPEC project as upgrade works to the Karakoram Highway are taking place in Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir; a territory that India claims as its own.
  • Encirclement fears: India has alleged that China and Pakistan intended to develop the corridor not just for its economic benefits, but also motivated by the "strategic intent of besieging India.”

Source: TH


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